Mr Clement Osei Amoako, President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), has paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah.
He was accompanied by the second Vice President, Mr Abass Miezah, Treasurer, Dr Mrs Emelia Assiakwa, Chief Executive Officer of GNCCI, Mr Mark Badu Aboagye, Western Regional Chairman of GNCCI, Mr Alexander Bogney Bewong, among other executives.
The President was grateful to the management of UMaT for allowing them to discuss a collaborative approach of establishing employer-inclusive, market-driven initiatives and functional academic programmes.
He said this demonstrated the commitment that higher learning institutions were pursuing to bridge the industry-academic gap.
Mr Amoako said, “as GNCCI is an organ of the private sector in Ghana, we were excited about exploring new opportunities that promote and protect the commercial and industrial interests in the country.”
The president mentioned that building the capacity of the staff and membership was critical, adding that, “understanding what was needed and how to prepare organizations to be effective in response to shocks would be crucial in protecting the work systems and maintaining operations.”
Mr Amoako said the Chamber had eight regional offices in Accra, Tema, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Tarkwa, Kumasi, Koforidua and Wa with a total workforce of fifty-two.
He noted that designing bespoke training and development programmes for members would ensure the quality delivery of services to the business community.
“Over the years, the Chamber has organized capacity-building programmes and workshops on entrepreneurial finance, opportunity recognition, generation of ideas and stress management for members and staff,” he said.
He added that the Chamber would appreciate engaging some of the University staff to participate in their training programmes.
Mr Amoako further said, “the Chamber believes that industry and academia can create synergy in the areas of research and development. There are numerous business research works that have been conducted but yet to see its full actualization.”
Key recommendations could serve as a launching pad to initiate entrepreneurial projects and members would benefit from the expertise of the academic staff in conducting market research to enhance their products, he explained.
The president also said the Chamber intended to partner with the university to undertake research projects of mutual interest, where new products and ideas could be generated.
He said the world of work was always evolving and this required developing unique insights on the issues impacting organisations and individuals.
He emphasized the need to find innovative ways of ensuring that the experiential knowledge and practical insights of businesses had a bearing on the curriculum designed for higher learning institutions.
Mr Amoako suggested that “we could also have sessions and programmes that allow interaction with industry expert during lecture as well as on-the-job knowledge acquisition and exposure-gathering.”
He announced that “the Chamber would soon commence the GNCCI Junior Chambers across Universities to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of students so that when they complete university education, they would have the practical insight on how to build and run a sustainable business”.
“We have an ongoing initiative with the University of Cape Coast called ‘Practical Knowledge Transfer Programme’ where students are sent to companies registered with the Chamber to do their internship. We could replicate that with UMAT ” he added.
The president also said they would inaugurate the GNCCI Future Skills Initiative to help develop the youth with the requisite skills to stay innovative and competitive to survive in the world of business.
Prof. Amankwah, on his part, said the University would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GNCCI to deepen their engagement.
“We Are looking at our students having an internship in some of this space they have created and maybe conduct research to improve upon their activities,” he stated.
He said this would pave way for GNCCI to deliver seminars on campus in entrepreneurship so that people would have more experience about the practices associated with entrepreneurship, challenges and successes.